1. KRALIK THREADED OFFERED AS LOETZ FOR $10,000!!!! Park Antiques
A long time ago, a dealer whom I used to trust answered my question as to why he sold non-Loetz as Loetz with the following: "Buyers are not interested in knowing what the piece really is. They want to be told it's Loetz. And if they want Loetz, I give them Loetz". Meanwhile, and taking advantage of my ignorance on the subject, he was taking the best smaller Loetz pieces in my collection and trading them for larger vases which turned out not to be Loetz.
When it comes to E-Bay, the same principle seems to apply, but with a difference. At the time I was being scammed, there was no information on Loetz except Ricke, and dealers fortunate enough to own a copy would not even show it to their clients. Nowadays, thanks to www.loetz.com, this website and countless others, there is plenty of information on Czech unsigned glass. However, dealers routinely ignore it. The most common practice is to take another manufacturer's middle end piece, call it Loetz, and slap a hefty price on it.
Usually, the piece being misrepresented is Kralik, but one also finds Rindskopf. God knows how many times I have written dealers (I have earned the nickname "Loetz police" and I am glad to report I am not the only one) directing them to the right information. Some have thanked me and changed the description. Some have thanked me and not changed the description. Some have asked who the hell I am, questioned my credentials and threatened to denounce me to E-Bay. The last two instances constitute WILLFUL MISIDENTIFICATION.
Dealers do fight back, letting it be known that the real purpose of people who insist in truth in advertising lies in getting dealers to change attributions from Loetz to non-Loetz, and thus driving down the price so that THEY can get the pieces cheaper! To which I counter, why would I want a non-Loetz piece with a fake signature anyway? And don't delaers realize that other dealers advertise and price properly? In other words, buyers can always eventually find anything cheaper and properly identified.
Examples of misidentified Kralik glass under Loetz on E-Bay are plentiful. The first two are simple one layer martelé glass, cut from the top and green rigaree, in the manner of Loetz Nautilus. The third appears to have a pontil.
2. Kralik offered as Loetz for $878.50 by lina21j in Germany
3. I AM GLAD TO REPORT THAT CITIANTIK, GERMANY, IS NOW OFFERING THIS VASE AS KRALIK NAUTILUS.
4. Kralik offered as Loetz for $295 by benojollo, Holland.
5. K. offered twice, for $845 and $648, rareandfair
6. K offered as Loetz by an European dealer who should know better, for $425
You can tell this is beginning to look like my Kralik entry on stuck-on decoration!
7. This one was called "Coppelia" by kkr5050. The difference: real Coppelia has a different color combination.$350
8. I have grown to hate this little vase. It has the dubious distinction of appearing listed both in the Loetz and the Kralik sections. $445 rareandfair
9. Offered by sogladd for 325, this is also Kralik
10. K pearl glass, offered as Loetz for $295 by tedtigerted
11. Documented K decor, as Loetz: $445 antfill
Kralik crackle too gets the "Loetz" treatment:
12. Kralik rough crackle, as Loetz: $445
Cityantik wrote and said they had revised their listings.
There you have an example of a dealer who is open to change, and honest. Thank you so much!
15. A rare Kralik soft grackle decor, in the Passau Museum. Offered as Loetz for $849 by Kunst19.
Even marked Deco Kralik is attributed to Loetz by alrib:
16-17. Kralik mark
18-19: $1500 for a Kralik with a fake signature!
And while we are at it, let's look at this cameo vase offered by ibidtoomuch: wrong bottom (Loetz cameos have pontils!!!!) and a fake script signature.
20-21-22 Started at $250 with a reserve!
Let us move to Rindskopf offered as Loetz:
23. R pair, offered as Loetz for $1887.
24. R papillon, offered as Loetz for $651.
25. R corrugated fan vase, offered as Loetz for $325.
26. R. corrugated SOLD as Loetz for $690.
27. More R corrugated, as Loetz, $890
NONE OF THE VASES ABOVE ARE FAKES. THEY CAN ALL BE ATTRIBUTED CORRECTLY TO EITHER KRALIK OR RINDSKOPF, BUT THEY ARE BEING OFFERED OR HAVE BEEN SOLD AS LOETZ.
Interestingly, when it comes to Rindskopf, I have found only one instance where a piece is being offered as such, but it is not. The dealer thoughtfully provided the all important picture of the
pontil (notice how many dealers conveniently forget to include it),
which gives it away as a more recent piece, probably not even Czech.
28-29, Not a Rindskopf bottom.
Then there are those dealers who, because of the way E-Bay works, throw in the word "Loetz" into every description, whether the piece is neither iridescent nor Czech. You all know those Bulgarian "Loetz" shades that clutter the listings.
30. Bulgarian Loetz A
31. Bulgarian "Loetz" 2
32. "Loetz" powder box. $400, 1001pc.
33. An unidentifiable piece of iridescent glass being offered as Loetz for $495!
It is an established fact that Kralik never signed its pieces, except the rare cameos. Kralik's Deco production was MARKED with a provenance mark (See Kralik 5 and 6 in this website). Therefore, if you find a piece signed in script, either the signature, the piece or both are fake.
However, on E-Bay right now are two vases signed Kralik in script. They look suspiciously alike. Decorumnyc ignored repeated messages from several people about this piece:
34-35. Red fake mark, a cool $350
Adama75 sells another of the same, in purple
36-37. $180. Notice the large pontil.
And this vase, obviously by the same manufacturer, is marked Loetz! (I
apologize for the picture. There was no way to make it larger)
38-39. Fake Loetz signature.
40, My friend Joe Torrentino from Longbrook Antiques is selling this pitcher the right way, stating very clearly that IT IS NOT what its fake signature would have it be: Kralik. It comes in a variety of colors. Probably contemporary Chinese or Rumanian. Cruets also appear with the same fake sginature.
I propose all of the above pieces have a common manufacturer. They are being manufactured at the present time. They are being fraudulently signed either Loetz or Kralik. 90% OF SIGNATURES ON CZECH JUGENDSTIL GLASS ARE FALSE!
Across E-Bay, I have come through some really bizarre fake Loetz sigatures, rivaling the one above.
Consider the following, appearing on a cut and gilded vase attributed to Beckert, offered for $2750 by artantiqueaol.com
41-42. A pity, this is a quality vase!
43-44. The pontil says not Loetz
45. Another fake Loetz mark.
The following vase is so not Loetz I wonder why anyone would even call it that. It is supposed to have a Loetz signature and a polished pontil. Judge by yourself:
46-47: If you find the signature let me know!
There are on the market quite skillful Loetz reproductions signed by contemporary artists like Alcaraz, Stepanek, Muller and Zasman. However, there are many more which bear no signature and are offered as Loetz. I insist: pontil photographs are all important. This vase looks Loetz and is being offered as such, but if you look at the foot AND THE PONTIL, you can ascertain it is not:
48-49 Fake Loetz,
Viktoria Dokupil, a contributor to this page from Hungary, points out that some dealers use all-
inclusive ambiguous terms such as "Art Nouveau Loetz School Silver Overlay" to describe vases made in Israel and previously offered as genuine Loetz. Need I point out there is no such thing as a "Loetz school?"
50. "Loetz School" vase
E-Bay is not the only place on Internet where willful misidentification occurs. Try Trocadero, though I must admit the percentage is minor as compared to E-Bay. But look at the prices for pieces that are offered as Loetz!
51. A cool $1500 for a K. shell passed off as Loetz!
52. From the same dealer, $1400
53. The dealer went creative on this Poshinger or Schleersee, calling it Loetz "Calliope" and asking
Metal frames, almost made out from cheap white metal and gilded, mysteriously up the price. Here we have a rather common "Loetz" Rindskopf vase on a kitschy frame and a deluxe price:
55. Non-iridescent glass. What makes it Loetz? It may be the ridiculous price: $1450.
56. Boy did I have a hard time dealing with the seller of this piece! She finally settled on "Loetz-attributed" (not by me) and advertises it as 'price on request". So, very rare piece of Harrach Jaspis becomes "Loetz".
I still have plenty of examples, but i think I have made my point. Some advice to navigate this maze:
1. Educate yourself. If you are going to buy or sell, get all the pertinent books, and handle as much glass as you can get to. Learn to differentiate between Jugendstil manufacturers by shape, decors, types of pontils.
2. As a buyer: always question dealers' attributions. Ask for proof. Don't admit appraiser or auction descriptions. They are usually 90% wrong. Yes, including you-know-who on the Antiques Roadshow.
3. As a dealer, if you do not know what it is, ask.
If it is not Loetz, learn to live with it. If it remains unidentified, sell it as Czech iridescent, not as Loetz.
4. As a buyer: you can profit by knowing more than the dealers. Do not buy overpriced misidentified pieces. Do buy cheap misidentified pieces, particularly if you recognize what they are.
5. As a buyer: stop doing business with dealers that consistently misidentify their pieces as Loetz. It is a one-way pattern: no one identifies Loetz as Rindskopf or Kralik.
6. Learn the difference between terms: silver deposit is not silver overlay or silver enamel. Papillon is NOT oil spot.
7. Be aware that Loetz' competitors, particularly Kralik, produced decors that purposely mimicked Loetz glass, and learn to distinguish between them.
8. Study iridescent glass being currently made. Some of it is meant to fool the eye in terms of being an almost exact copy or reproduction of Loetz glass. Indeed, some of them are museum repros.
9. Learn the difference between American and Czech iridescent glass. I have bought some of my best Imperial Freehand pieces as "Czech iridescent".
10. Accept your mistakes and learn from them. I traded great real Loetz for large Rindskopf and Kralik, which at the time was labeled Loetz as well.. I have allowed myself to be convinced that certain pieces were "defective" or "repaired" and worth less than they really were. I have consigned pieces on a verbal agreement for which I never saw the money. I have been visited by dealers who called my collections "mediocre" when they realized I was not selling and my home was not their shopping mall.
NOTE: Tiffany and Lalique collectors have gone one step further. There are websites such as Tiffanyfakes.com where ROGUE DEALERS, who are known for selling fake pieces, are listed BY NAME!
And this is my list, compiled for the month of June. I did a search for Loetz on E-Bay stores. The first digit represents pieces claimed as loetz. The second, those that can be documented as Loetz. For example, 1001 Objects listed 229 pieces as Loetz; NONE were Loetz.
1001 Objects: 29/ 0
Treasures of Pife Blue 10/ 0 [Bulgaria lamp
Vintage Views 9/ 1 [described as
Zeffo Fozzy 9/ 0 [More Bulgarian shades]]
Cher Mar Collectibles 8/1 [descripción:
Loetz Red Cranberry Kralik drapery pattern!!!!!]
Rare and Fair Antiquities 10/2
First S Mart 6/ 0 [Pressed glass mostly}
Antiquarian Home 4/ 0
216 Way 3/ 1
Park Antiques 3/1 [NY at the Plaza. 2 threaded Kraliks for $10,000 each!]
Witness Gallery 2/0 [more Bulgarian shades]
Pacific Pawnbrokers 1/0 [An unsigned lamp base for $4,600]
A LETTER FROM A FRIEND:
What I have noticed is that some sellers are listing Rindskopf pieces
(and others) with quite high buy it now prices, but the pieces never
sell. This seems to be a general trend on Ebay now. Ebay has manipulated
the fee structure to promote the strategy of cheap listing fees with
higher final value fees. If one looks at closed auctions the highest
price of a sold piece of Rindskopf is generally under $300 and it is
usually for a unique or unusual piece.
I also run a Steuben
search and the prices many dealers ask for Steuben pieces on Ebay is
ridiculous. Even many of the mundane pieces have incredibly high prices,
and nice pieces are ridiculous. As with much of the overpriced goods,
they continue to be be run over and over again by the same sellers.
appears more and more that Ebay has managed to position themselves as
the largest online overpriced antique mall, and WalMart all rolled into
one..... On most of my searches there are generally around 15-20% of
the listings as auctions, some with reserves. The remainder of the
listings are for overpriced buy it now's, some having best offer as an
option. It appears that many dealers who stand around and bitch at
antique shows about how bad business is while having the same overpriced
inventory in their space year after year, have finally discovered the
internet as a place to try to sell their wares for too much....